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Alaric - King of the Visigoths

1998 Larry Fuegen Born: Chamberlain, South Dakota 1952 crown stag deer antler with 14k gold, sterling silver, copper, buffalo horn, mammoth ivory, mother-of-pearl, sapphire fittings, Damascus steel, Prehnite mineral specimen, thuya wood burl, and walnut 11 1/4 x 11 3/8 x 5 5/8 in. (28.5 x 28.8 x 14.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Leyden © 1998, Larry Fuegen 1998.132A-B Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 54B


Luce Center Label

The intricately carved handle of this knife shows the figure of Alaric, who led the Visigoths from the end of the fourth century into the beginning of the fifth. He and his troops plundered Greece, invaded Italy, and finally defeated Rome in 410 AD. Larry Fuegen used ancient materials, including buffalo horn, mammoth ivory, and deer antler, to create an image of the warrior that could have been made by an artisan traveling with the Visigoths. Fuegen crafted Alaric's helmet from silver and gold and used sapphire fittings for his staring eyes. He forges most of his blades from Damascus steel, a metal made from layers of hard and soft steel that are repeatedly turned and hammered until wavelike patterns appear on the surface.

Keywords

Dress - accessory - hat

History - Europe

Occupation - other - aristocrat

Portrait male - Alaric - head

decorative arts

Crafts - Mixed Media

About Larry Fuegen

Born: Chamberlain, South Dakota 1952